IMTS 2018 — Record-Breaking Manufacturing Technology Show

Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Scott Woempner, president of Woempner Machine Company in Thomasville, NC (USA) snagged an Amazon Gift Card valued at $500 just for stopping by the xTuple booth at IMTS 2018, THE biennial International Manufacturing Technology Show. IMTS is such an important showcase for manufacturers and their supply chain; we’ve already signed up for the next event to exhibit in 2020.

This was my second time visiting McCormick Place in Chicago (an amazing venue) and our first time at an IMTS show. I was joined by xTuple VP of sales Wally Tonra, and a few of our partners located around the Chicago-Great Lakes area. Visitors from every level of industry — and more than 117 countries — attend IMTS to discover advances in manufacturing equipment and technology.

About the Show

Exhibitors I’ve met at other trade shows told me that IMTS 2018 would be one of the largest shows I would ever attend. They were not wrong. IMTS is the largest — and longest running — manufacturing technology trade show in the Americas. For six full days, attendees and exhibitors discussed the current and future evolution of manufacturing, and how companies can stay competitive by adopting new technology. This year broke previous show records with 129,415 attendees, 1,424,232 sq. ft. of exhibit space, 2,123 booths, and 2,563 exhibiting companies.

McCormick Center IMTS 2018

Job Shops: New to IMTS

Feedback from attendees of previous IMTS shows suggested the event should introduce programs specifically tailored to the challenges of job shops and contractor shops. IMTS 2018 was the first time the show hosted educational sessions for Job Shops, which attracted 405 participants and focused on two important topics: attracting qualified talent and business development.

Presentations included the seminar: Uncopyable: Creating an Unfair Advantage Over the Competition by Steve Miller, Marketing Gunslinger – The Adventure, and a panel discussion The Unending Search for Qualified Labor hosted by four job shop owners.

Future IMTS shows will continue delivering valuable content for Job Shops, like the ones in 2018. I’m excited to see what topics will be covered in 2020.

Job Shop Word Cloud, credit IMTS

Image credit: IMTS

Innovations in Manufacturing: Machining Centers

With a show as large as IMTS, it's only appropriate that large machines to be displayed. IMTS 2018 hosted some monstrous machines designed to produce large, precise objects, from animal models to engine blocks.

Have you ever really wondered how solid steel objects, like the rims on your car or the wrench in your toolbox, were created? Or even deeper, how molds were created to reproduce objects in our everyday life? The answer is machining centers, like ones built by companies such as Hermle, Okuma, and Ken.

Here's the Hermle machining center crafting a model bull, and the finished result below.

Hermle Bull at IMTS 2018

Here's an Okuma machine on display presenting a giant engine block as the finished product.

Okuma Machine with finished engine block at IMTS 2018

Manufacturing Business Software: xTuple & Digital Technology

Unlike Hermle and the other manufacturing companies mentioned above, xTuple doesn’t offer large, attention-grabbing machines. Instead, we provide ERP software solutions to businesses using the machines to manufacture — and distribute — their products. Shows like IMTS give us a chance to speak with these companies face-to-face, learn where they’re experiencing challenges, and see how xTuple can help.

Our corporate sales team was joined by a few value-added resellers (VARS) or partners (Anil Cherian of SDG Consulting, Scott Zuke of Batten, and Tim Collins of Red Cranial), we spoke with several companies, both attending and exhibiting. The challenges they shared with us varied from managing costs, scheduling projects, tracking materials, or building a better relationship with customers. Fortunately, there is a single solution to support all aspects of their business: ERP with integrated eCommerce.

Wally Tonra and Tim Collins at the xTuple booth, IMTS 2018

Wally and Tim at the xTuple booth (above). Wally and Scott speaking with an attendee (below).

Wally Tonra and Scott Zuke at the xTuple booth, IMTS 2018

Wally giving a demo of xTuple to an IMTS 2018 attendee.

Wally Tonra demos ERP at the xTuple booth, IMTS 2018

We truly enjoyed meeting everyone who stopped by the xTuple booth. Even though the show is over, we’re continuing the conversation and helping them take the first steps toward growing their business further.

Check out more pictures and videos of IMTS 2018 on our Facebook or Flickr.

What's Next?

  • If we don't meet you before, at another show, we'll see you at IMTS 2020 — September 14-19 — McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

We look forward to continuing relationships built at IMTS 2018, and to help the manufacturing industry grow with quality software solutions. There are many more shows like IMTS in our future, so sign up for xTuple updates to find out where we’re visiting next.

Matthew Walt

Director of Business Process Improvement

Before joining xTuple, Matthew was part of a marketing team for an IT training provider in the Washington, D.C., area. He is a Certified SEO Professional and Market Analyst. When he isn't supporting the Sales and Marketing efforts of xTuple, Matthew enjoys cooking, building functions in Excel (really), and working on his car. Matthew has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Advertising from West Virginia University.